Department of Mathematics

Neogen Corporation

Confidence in a sampling regimen*

A meat supplier is bound by USDA regulations that specify sampling regimens for the detection of the bacterium Ecoli 1587. For example, a large lot of fresh beef to be cooked must be be sampled 15 times ---  to pass, no Ecoli 1587 can be found in each of the 25 gm samples.

How confident can one be that there is less than 2 bacteria in any 1 kgm portion?

The meat is not well mixed --- portions of the lot may come from different farms. Moreover there may be local Ecoli blooms of large polulations.

The deliverable may be a white paper critique of the USDA sampling regimen and/or an alternate, more effective sampling scheme with justification.

*This summary was prepared by C.R. MacCluer and R.E. Svetic with the participation of P. S. Satoh and J.M. Madden of Neogen Corporation.


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Department of Mathematics
Michigan State University
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College of Natural Science